Head of Emergency Medicine Department to leave Health Board

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Former Health Board chief of emergency medicine Martin Kadai.
Former Health Board chief of emergency medicine Martin Kadai. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Head of the Emergency Medicine Department of the Health Board (Tervisamet) Martin Kadai has told staff he will resign from his position.

A spokesperson for the Health Board told ERR on Wednesday Kadai had sent a letter to the employees of the Health Board announcing his departure at his own request. 

Kadai told ERR he was leaving the Health Board primarily because he needs a break. However, it is also in connection with the relationship between the Health Board and the government and the resignation of former head of the agency Merike Jürilo.

"I personally have been very much in favor of supporting the head of the institution, for the Health Board to be balanced, for the Health Board to make evidence-based decisions and to implement them on an evidence-based basis. If this has led to mistrust, then that mistrust is partly my fault," said Kadai.

He said there have been communication problems between the Health Board and the government, and no information has been exchanged on what the crisis situation means and what would be the best thing to do.

"There has been a clash in this regard, precisely because the slogan of the Health Board has been a very clear understanding that this virus is very likely to remain in circulation, it is a long-term story and it must be dealt with in a complex and balanced way. Our slogan has also been that, as a small country with limited resources, it is necessary to deal with what is most effective and gives the most results."

Kadai said there have been problems with the government listening to the advice given by the Health Board. "The problem has been the exchange of information and the coordination of common positions. I hope it will be better in the next crises."

Kadai is not the first member of the board to step down due to the coronavirus.

Head of the Health Board Merike Jürilo announced her resignation on June 18 saying she was disappointed by comments made by social minister Tanel Kiik to daily newspaper Postimees (link in Estonian), referring to a lack of trust between the board and the government, as the reason for her resignation.

Kiik had defended the agency and its leaders during the coronavirus crisis, but when the crisis subsided, he blamed the leaders of the agency for not cooperating. 

Kadai's last working day will be July 5.

Reporting coronavirus statistics

The Health Board announced from July 1, it will only issue press releases when there are more than five cases of coronavirus reported in a single day.

Instead, it will publish an overview every Wednesday, together with a longer assessment of the epidemiological situation.

Daily data will be updated on koroonakart every day at 10.30 a.m. which can be viewed in English, Estonian and Russian.

ERR News will continue to add the daily figures to our "Coronavirus in Estonia: All you need to know" article each day and publish a round-up of figures and the most important news stories related to coronavirus on Monday.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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